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Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night brings a bloody new boss to E3 (update)

The demo is brief, and the final game still isn’t ready for backers

ArtPlay/505 Games
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, the side-scrolling action game from Koji Igarashi, will make an appearance again at this year’s E3. Polygon had some time with the demo ahead of E3, and while I found it pretty short and to the point, it did a decent job of showing off the progress the game has made so far.

Igarashi tells us that the alpha build, for Kickstarter backers, is expected to arrive sometime around August. The final game is expected to release some time in the first half of 2018 for Linux, Windows and Mac as well as PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One.

Bloodstained has a new boss to share this year. Called Bloodless, she is able to control blood with her mind. Her dress itself, Igarashi explained, is made of blood and as players do damage to her the dress begins to fall away.

“It gets a little bit skimpier,” Igarashi explained through a translator. “She also uses the umbrella to attack players. Those are also made out of blood, so when you attack her the blood goes on the ceiling, the floor, everywhere. When she strikes, she sometimes uses a skill called ‘Bloodrain’ where blood rains down on the player from the ceiling.”

Igarashi says he’s leaning into the concept of gothic horror, which he defines as “a grotesque mixed up with a little bit of erotica.” Bloodless, he said, is a good example of that.

Other changes to this year’s demo include an increase in the game’s difficulty, both through more variation in the boss’ move set and an increase in hitpoints.

Bloodstained’s initial delivery date for the crowdfunding campaign, which raised more than $5.5 million in 2015, was slated as March 2017. Since then the game has slipped, but Igarashi said that fans have not seem troubled with the delay. He attributed that delay to the campaign’s success, saying that he and his team have simply needed more time to complete all of the added stretch goals. Those include additional platforms, playable characters, voice acting and other additions to the scope of the game.

Since the original campaign, Igarashi’s ArtPlay has taken on 505 Games as their publisher.

Crowdfunding for video games on Kickstarter has been on the decline since 2015. In 2016, the revenue earned by successful video game projects was down nearly 60 percent. Another high-profile Kickstarter project from 2015, Shenmue 3, would be delayed into 2018.

Update: 505 Games has also released a new trailer, which you can watch below.

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